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Common Types of Cabling

Unshielded twisted pair cables, 22-24 gauge (UTP)

Advantages Inexpensive, may be in place
in some places; familiar and simple to install.

Disadvantages Subject to
interference, both internal and external; limited bandwidth, which
translates into slower transmissions. Somewhat vulnerable to security
breaches; may become obsolete quickly because of new technologies.

Shielded twisted pair cables, 22-24 (STP)

Advantages Easy installation; reasonable
cost; resistance to interference; better electrical characteristics than
unshielded cables; better data security; easily terminated with modular

Disadvantages May become obsolete due
to technical advances; can be tapped, breaching security.

Coaxial cables

Advantages Familiar and fairly easy to
install; better electrical characteristics (lower attenuation and great
bandwidth than shielded or unshielded cables; highly resistant to
interference; generally good data security; easy to connect.

Disadvantages May become obsolete due
to technological advances; can be tapped, breaching security.

Optical fiber cables

Advantages Top performance; excellent
bandwidth ( high in the gigabit range, and theoretically higher); very long
life span; excellent security; allows for very high rates of data
transmission; causes no interference and is not subject to electromagnetic
interference; smaller and lighter than other cable types.

Disadvantages Slightly higher
installed cost than twisted -pair cables.